Saturday, February 17, 2018

27 Days of Oscar, Day 12: Foreign Film, Queer Cinema and my Oscar playlist



It's time for a big deep breath before the final push. The Oscars are in 2 weeks and 1 day. It's hard to believe. We're going to take a look at what I still have left to see, but before we do that I want to talk a bit about the two pieces I finished in the last few days.

The first is my essay on "Call Me By Your Name." It began as a journey through the queer films that have influenced me over the years, but as I began to write, it turned into something else, as often happens. It was important for me to explore why "Call Me By Your Name" has made such an impact on my life. I discovered through the process that I'm certainly not alone. There are people out there who don't quite understand the film or seem to bring negative past experiences to how they watch (or not watch in some cases) and interpret the film which has lead them to manipulate what Guadagnino, Aciman and the cast actually created. I get it. If you read my piece, and I hope you will, you will see that I did the same thing. How can we not bring our past into our interpretation of art. It's impossible. 

I also needed to explore a few relationships I had in my past. One which made a huge impact on me over the course of 15 years, and the other a single night. Love and Heartbreak - from "Beautiful Thing" to "Call Me By Your Name" is my most personal piece to date.

So much was on the cutting room floor, so to speak, but I hope to publish a follow up piece with more excerpts from my interviews with Peter Spears and Timothee Chalamet at some point. Although it might be post Oscars.

Check it out:

I also finished up my piece on the Foreign Language Film category. It's in the hands of my friend/editor Ryan over at Awards Daily. Once it's published, I will certainly let you know.

The past few years when writing about Foreign Language Film for Awards Daily, I find myself more interested in what theme might travel through the films than predicting what might win or telling you the ones I like/dislike. This year was no exception. I do have my favorites, but I think I will wait until that piece is live to go into all that.

Yesterday I also voted on the Film Independent Spirit Awards. That was such a pleasure. There were so many incredible films I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise such as "Columbus" and "Oh Lucy!" I didn't end up seeing "Life and Nothing More" so I didn't end up voting for Best Female Lead. But that's ok.

It felt good to cast my votes for "Call Me By Your Name" for Best Feature, Director, Male Lead, Supporting Male, Cinematography and Editing. I honestly wasn't sure I was going to vote for Armie until I wrote my recent piece. It's such a fantastic performance. All those walls and masks...they are intentional and when they come off, in one of the final scenes in the hotel room...it's brilliant.

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom's cinematography is so stunning and Walter Fasono's editing is very underrated and to vote for them was a treat. Interestingly enough, James Ivory, who will more than likely win the Oscar wasn't nominated for the Spirit.

Now...Let's take a look at the films I have yet to see that are nominated for the Oscars. There will be two things happening over the next two weeks. I will be handicapping each category once I've seen all the nominees and discussing the films I am watching. These are the categories I have already completed:

Picture
Director
Actress
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actress
Cinematography
Editing
Original Score
Sound Editing
Sound Mixing
Original Screenplay

Not bad...I might hit Sound Editing and Sound Mixing tomorrow.

That means there are several categories I am missing films. Those films are:

Roman J. Israel, Esq
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent
Beauty and the Beast
Marshall
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places
Icarus
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island
15 shorts

14 features and 15 shorts with 15 days left to go. The only one I'm struggling getting my hands on is "Faces Places." There's always one, but had you told me that would be the one I couldn't seem to get my hands on I wouldn't have believed you.

SO...I think I will watch "The Breadwinner" and one other film tonight, and tomorrow I'll get into the sound categories and give you my BAFTA predictions.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

27 Days of Oscar, Day 10: Finishing up the Spirit Award noms (First Feature, Supporting Male/Female); a brief look at BP


Hello readers! It may seem as if I have been on some sort of hiatus the past few days, but that isn't the case. I've been furiously attempting to watch as many of the films nominated for the Film Independent Spirit Awards as well as completing my piece on Queer Cinema for Awards Daily. 

As soon as AD publishes the piece I will make sure to share it with you. In the meantime, head over to GQ and read the profile on Timothee Chalamet. It's more than likely the only piece you'll read this season longer than mine!  As often happens, my essay evolved from what I had originally intended, but I was able to explore something very important to me, obsession and the movies.

For the Spirits, I still need to watch "Beatriz at Dinner" along with "Life and Nothing More" and then I can vote tomorrow.

I'm so glad that I decided to watch both "Ingrid Goes West" and "Pattie Cake$" because now I can vote on Best First Feature. All 5 films really inspired me to know that a first outing can be a great one. First off, let me say that "Patti Cake$" was great. Everyone is wonderful, particularly Patti herself, Danielle Macdonald and Bridget Everett as Barb. That last song/scene was so good! How was that not nominated for Best Original Song! Well...it's a really tight category. It's so sad that the "story" behind Fox Searchlight's Sundance purchase of the film, the marketing and the box office "failure" completely overshadowed the film. I'm so very glad that it got this nomination.

Did I talk about "Ingrid Goes West" yet? I don't think so...Well, I can tell you this. That scene in the beginning when she is scrolling through Instagram with tears of insanity running down her face...well...I get it. Just this morning I was saying a little prayer to separate my phone from my hand. We live in a world today where one like on a post or a text from someone can trigger a fantasy world in our heads. At least in my head. It's not real. And people who live in cyber worlds alone aren't real either. And "Ingrid" nails that. In a funny, scary and touching way.

Figuring out which of the films nominated for Best First Feature is really difficult. My favorite is "Oh Lucy!" I found it to be absolutely brilliant. It more than likely would've cracked my Top 20 had I seen it in time.

Film Independent's membership is broad. They (we!) might go with "Ingrid Goes West." Although it was one of the last ones I watched, I'm guessing the majority of members watched it first. Last year's winner was "The Witch." Did they award it because it was the film that made the biggest box office splash? Not sure.

BEST FIRST FEATURE

Columbus
Ingrid Goes West
Menashe
Oh Lucy!
Patti Cake$

Will win: Ingrid Goes West
Should win: Oh Lucy!
Spoiler...hmmm...probably Patti Cake$

Yesterday I also watched "Crown Heights" the story of Colin Warner, who served 20+ years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Lakeith Stanfield ("Get Out," "Atlanta") is great as Colin, aging 20 years on screen.  Nnamdi Asomugha is up for Supporting Male. Honestly, I don't quite understand this nomination. He was fine, but to not nominate Michael Stuhlbarg. It's odd. And up against the other 4 nominees he looks very out of place.

The Spirits don't always award those also nominated for Oscars. Last year Casey Affleck did win, despite past sexual harassment allegations (he certainly wouldn't win this year) but he gave what I consider last year's best performance. Isabelle Huppert won for lead despite being up against Oscar nominees Ruth Negga and Natalie Portman.

It could really go many ways. I want to say it will be Armie, but I think it's my love for the film blinding me. I think it will be either Barry Keoghan or Sam Rockwell. With Benny Safdie and Armie Hammer on the edge. Sorry Nnamdi.

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Nnamdi Asomugha, Crown Heights
Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name
Barry Keoghan, The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Benny Safdie, Good Time

Will win: (THIS IS HARD!) Barry Keoghan, The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Should win: Armie Hammer
SPOILER: Sam Rockwell, Benny Safdie

For supporting female it's really a two way race, yet again. I think Holly Hunter is great in "The Big Sick." Lois Smith is good in "Marjorie Prime," but I honestly hated the film. Taliah Lennice Webster is good in "Good Time," but it's almost a forgettable performance next to Benny Safdie and Robert Pattinson, not to mention our frontrunners, Laurie Metcalf and Allison Janney. 

I will say this...I do love that the Spirits nominated smaller performances. The only time the Oscars nominate a "small" performance is when it's Judi Dench or Jack Palance, and they obviously can win as well.

I'm going with Metcalf.

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Holly Hunter, The Big Sick
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Lois Smith, Marjorie Prime
Taliah Lennice Webster, Good Time

Will win: Laurie Metcalf
Should win: Hmmm...this is a tough one. I'm honestly not over the moon with any of these performances. Probably Holly Hunter
Spoiler: Allison Janney or Lois Smith

Next up will be my piece on the Foreign Film race. I hope to get that over to Ryan at AD by the end of day tomorrow, so don't expect another 27 Days piece until Saturday.

I luckily have a great jumping off point thanks to "On Body and Soul" director Ildiko Enyedi. In that conversation she said something quite profound to me. "We don't accept each other...or like each other." I was so struck by this that I wrote it down even though I was recording the chat. That's a theme in all 5 nominated films and something I can't wait to explore.

On Saturday, it's Oscar time. I'm so very glad that I joined Film Independent and was able to break out of my Oscar comfort zone. It will certainly make March 3rd's show even more exciting, but it's time to get down to business. It's also been nice to somewhat avoid the inevitable, predicting what will win. If you look at Best Picture alone, there seems to be a case for 6 films! Remember when it was 4? 

I need to keep in mind that my initial feelings on Best Picture are generally right. Back in October it seemed as if it was between "The Shape of Water" or "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."

Now, there is a case for "Get Out" (I was on that bandwagon at one point), "Dunkirk" (the most "likeable" of the bunch, it now seems), "Lady Bird" (this one was the likeable one, now it's the one directed by a woman...jeez...these sort of labels are why I sometimes hate Phase 2!), even "Call Me By Your Name" (finally! You know I think this is the best film of the year.) I know that "Three Billboards" is missing a director nomination, but it will probably win the BAFTA awards on Sunday, unless the tides have truly shifted to "The Shape of Water."

Anyway, predictions are going to be all over the place this year. And that's fine.



Monday, February 12, 2018

27 Days of Oscar, Day 7: WGA, Scripter Awards and an Oxford Film Festival post mortem


It's Monday morning, and the 15th annual Oxford Film Festival is over.

It's hard to put into words exactly what I'm feeling about it right now. For one thing, it is such an honor and a great responsibility to program for this fest, particularly the LGBTQ section. At the Awards Ceremony on Saturday night, when juror Brighid Wheeler talked about the importance of this category as we continue to fight against homophobic legislation I found myself quite overwhelmed. I am so proud of the films that we showed. So proud.

Did Oxford come out and support us? Kind of. The jury winner, "Boys For Sale" is a remarkably honest look at what it means to be a male sex worker in Japan. It is entertaining, graphic, truthful, thought-provoking...everything you want in a documentary about prostitution. And at it's second screening there were less than 10 people in attendance.

At the second screening of "Between the Shades," we had a somewhat larger audience than at the first, which was unfortunately at the same time as the Awards Ceremony VIP party (hard to pass up free food/booze for a documentary about what it means to be LGBTQ, I guess), but this was even after multiple pleas to all the gay leaders I know to come out and support this important block of films.  Multiple FB and twitter posts, an article at the Daily Mississippi Online, a request to my friends to share that article (it was shared twice) and a 50% off discount code. Those Queer leaders not only posted multiple posts on social media, but they were in attendance for which I am very grateful.

Sure, the LGBTQ shorts were (mostly) full, same with "Alaska is a Drag," the narrative feature, but why not the others? I know Oxford is full of LGBTQ folks and allies, particularly at the University. Do they understand that the fight is not over? Do they see enough representation today on television and in feature films such as "Call Me By Your Name" that they don't feel the urge to come out for something like this? Maybe they are actually taking the fight to the Capital and I'm the one who is out of touch trying to fight the battle at a film festival.

Next year we hope to expand this category. I don't want to have to change the films we show to bring out a larger audience. Am I wrong not to want to meet the masses where they are but to instead bring the audience to us? It's something to think about over the next few months.

Now that the festival is over, I have a busy 3 weeks ahead. First off, before the Spirit Awards voting deadline I hope to watch the following:

Patti Cake$
The Lovers
Beatriz at Dinner
Life and Nothing More
Crown Heights

Not too bad considering I have 5 days, right? Well, I also need to finish my piece on Queer Cinema (that will happen by tomorrow) and start/finish my foreign film piece. It can happen. It will happen.

This weekend we had our two writing precursors, the Writers Guild Awards and the USC Scripter Awards. As was expected, "Call Me By Your Name" won both of its categories, along with the novel's author, Andre' Aciman at the Scripter Awards. Next up are the BAFTAs. It's up against "Molly's Game," "The Death of Stalin," and "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool." I'm guessing it will win. It's not nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards.

Then the Oscars. If it loses, I will be shocked. And very disappointed. Many of us who think the film should win Best Picture and Best Actor are putting all of our eggs in that basket. It will be a devastating loss.

"Get Out" won the Original Screenplay award. I was in the minority predicting "Lady Bird," and to be honest, I'm shocked. I do think "Get Out" deserves to win, but if things continue along this path, "Lady Bird" will go home empty handed. Unless Laurie Metcalf surprises in Supporting Actress. Which could happen. Now that Lesley Manville is in the race for "Phantom Thread" anything is possible.

I said yesterday that I don't see the connection of Screenplay to Picture. But I also said "Lady Bird" would win screenplay. So, what do I know? Could "Get Out" win Best Picture at the Oscars? It would be an incredible win. Something to really think about over the next few weeks.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

27 Days of Oscar, Day 5: catching up on the Spirits, WGA (and Best Picture) and Scripter previews


Oxford Film Festival continues on, and so do the 27 Days of Oscar.

If you're in Oxford, please go out and see the remaining LGBTQ films playing at the festival. "Alaska is a Drag" plays at today, Saturday, the 10th 5:45PM and "Between the Shades" plays at 8:00PM (with an encore screening tomorrow, Sunday the 11th at 5:00PM).

Despite the film festival, I managed to watch 2 Spirit Award nominated films today. "Oh Lucy" and "Marjorie Prime." I also made what may turn out to be a foolish decision to finish watching the Best First Feature Spirit Awards nominees.

That means, in addition to the 4 remaining films I planned to watch before next Friday's voting deadline I will add "Ingrid Goes West" and "Patti Cake$." Interestingly enough, those were two films I was beyond excited to see at one point or another, but as the awards race began to weigh down on me, I had decided they weren't necessary. Such a strange beast awards season.

I began the day with "Oh Lucy!" starring Shinobu Terajima, Josh Hartnett, Kaho Minami and directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi. It is nominated for Best First Feature and Best Female Lead. Described at IMDB: A lonely woman living in Tokyo decides to take an English class where she discovers her alter ego, Lucy. The lonely woman is played remarkably by Shinobu Terajima and the teacher is Josh Hartnett, also fantastic. The film is funny, heartbreaking, beautifully shot and wildly entertaining. Check out the trailer:




Next was "Marjorie Prime" a very unusual, somewhat daring, and moderately well acted film that I found incredibly boring. Lois Smith is nominated for Supporting Female for playing a woman near the end of her life who is able to communicate with a computerized younger version of her dead husband. That's not where the communication with the dead ends, but I won't spoil that here. Needless to say, as lovely as Lois Smith is, neither she nor her costars: Jon Hamm, Geena Davis and Tim Robbins can elevate the material, and the director Michael Almereyda can't quite take these actors from good to great. Perhaps it worked better as a play.



Tonight there are two more Oscar precursor awards (some of the last as we continue into Phase 2), the Writers Guild Awards and the Scripter Awards.

Here are the WGA nominees. Remember, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" was not eligible.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The Big Sick, Written by Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani; Amazon Studios
Get Out, Written by Jordan Peele; Universal Pictures
I, Tonya, Written by Steven Rogers; Neon
Lady Bird, Written by Greta Gerwig; A24
The Shape of Water, Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor; Story by Guillermo del Toro; Fox Searchlight

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Call Me by Your Name, Screenplay by James Ivory; Based on the Novel by André Aciman; Sony Pictures Classics
The Disaster Artist, Screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber; Based on the Book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell; A24
Logan, Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold; Based on Characters from the X-Men Comic Books and Theatrical Motion Pictures; Twentieth Century Fox Film
Molly's Game, Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; Based on the Book by Molly Bloom; STX Entertainment
Mudbound, Screenplay by Virgil Williams and Dee Rees; Based on the Novel by Hillary Jordan; Netflix

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

Betting on Zero, Written by Theodore Braun; Gunpowder & Sky
Jane, Written by Brett Morgen; National Geographic
No Stone Unturned, Written by Alex Gibney; Abramorama
Oklahoma City, Written by Barak Goodman; American Experience Films

Many sites are declaring tonight's Original Screenplay award and the Original Screenplay Oscar to be a strong predictor of what might win Best Picture. I am not on board with this quite yet.

Here's the thing. I think "Lady Bird" is going to win tonight, and although I'm not quite ready to declare "The Shape of Water" winning Best Picture, I simply can't see "Lady Bird" taking the Best Picture Oscar when it has won almost nothing other than the Globe for BP Comedy.

One thing to keep in mind..."Lady Bird" has had plenty of chances to win. It wasn't a late breaking film like "The Post" or "Phantom Thread." I think it has the strongest chance to win the WGA award tonight, and I'm feeling Greta Gerwig will also take home Original Screenplay at the Oscars. And that will be the only award the film wins, which means that "Get Out" will more than likely go home empty handed on Oscar night, unless something really wild happens and Daniel Kaluuya wins Best Actor due to a Gary Oldman/Timothee Chalamet split.

If "The Shape of Water" or even "Get Out" wins tonight, that will mean more in terms of Best Picture than if "Lady Bird" does.

If "Call Me By Your Name" loses, well, I'm not sure what it will mean for Oscar, but it will most certainly get ugly here at Awards Wiz.

For documentary, I'm guessing "Jane."

I wish I could be at the Scripter awards tonight. Remember, the Scripters award not only the screenplay but the material on which the screenplay is based. As a huge fan of "Call Me By Your Name," the film and the novel, I hope very much they award it the prize. It has some tough competition though with both "Wonder Woman" and "Logan," especially when you take into account the source material, but I believe they will more than likely count each other out. Again, if "Call Me By Your Name" loses...not good.

USC Scripter Nominees

FILM ADAPTATION

Call Me By Your Name
(Sony Pictures Classics and Picador)
Screenwriter James Ivory and author Andreì Aciman

The Disaster Artist
(A24 and Simon & Schuster)
Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber and authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell for their nonfiction book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside ‘The Room,’ the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”

Logan

(20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics)
Screenwriters Scott Frank, Michael Green and James Mangold, and authors Roy Thomas, Len Wein and John Romita Sr.

The Lost City of Z
(Amazon Studios and Simon & Schuster)
Screenwriter James Gray and author David Grann

Molly’s Game
(STX Entertainment and Dey Street Books)
Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and author Molly Bloom

Mudbound

(Netflix and Algonquin Books)
Screenwriters Virgil Williams and Dee Rees and author Hillary Jordan

Wonder Woman

(Warner Bros. and DC Comics)
Screenwriter Allan Heinberg and author William Moulton Marston


Friday, February 9, 2018

Oxford Film Festival - LGBTQ section (yes...this is a rehash, I'm busy, y'all!!)


I'll get back to writing about the Oscars tomorrow. So many exciting things happening at the film festival today. "Boys For Sale" is screening at 1:00PM, "Alaska is a Drag" will be at 4:15 and the LGBTQ shorts will be screening for the one and only time tonight at 6:45PM. If you are in Oxford and are either LGBTQ or one of our allies, please come out!!!

So, here's a bit of a rehash from a piece I wrote a few days ago.

I have the immense pleasure of programming the LGBTQ section of the fest, which includes "Between the Shades," directed by Jill Salvino, "Boys For Sale," directed by Itako and "Alaska is a Drag" written and directed by Shaz Bennett. There is also a great selection of shorts. Descriptions and trailers are below.

If you are in the Oxford area, please take advantage of the discount code, "OutOxford" for discounted tickets. $6! Let's fill the theater and show Oxford and Mississippi that we're here, we're queer, we're...you know what I'm saying....

Check out the info on the LGBTQ films at Oxford Film Festival here:

Between the Shades
BUY TICKETS HERE!
Sat, Feb 10, 2018 8:00 PM
Sun, Feb 11, 2018 5:00 PM

Between the Shades seeks to put faces to the letters that make up LGBTQI and how those letters have evolved. The film examines the immense power of labels and the transcendence of love. Director Jill Salvino invited fifty people, each with a connection to the LGBTQI community to begin a conversation by sharing their stories for this film that Premiered at The Soho Film Festival and became an audience favorite and finalist for best documentary. Between the Shades features many voices, among them: Beth Malone (of Broadway’s Fun Home), actress Kathy Najimy and Democratic National Committee Treasurer Andrew Tobias. No film can ever capture the immense diversity of the LGBTQI community, but it didn’t stop us from trying. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to be loved.

Between the Shades - Final Trailer for 2017 SoHo FF from Jill Salvino on Vimeo.

Boys for Sale
BUY TICKETS HERE!
Fri, Feb 9, 2018 1:00 PM
Sat, Feb 10, 2018 12:45 PM

Boys are selling sex in Japan. Who is buying?
In the Tokyo district of Shinjuku 2-chome there are bars that specialize in “Urisen”, young guys who have sex with men. Featuring candid interviews and interspersed with animation detailing the awkward, sweet, and sometimes horrific situations these young sex workers experience, the boys for sale boldly tell their stories of life in the Tokyo underground. This documentary is an illuminating look into a rarely seen world that tantalizingly shows the humanity of sex work.

Sununu: The Revolution of Live (playing with Boys for Sale)

Transgender Dad, Fernando Machado, became an international news sensation when he announced he was pregnant with his trans girlfriend Diane Rodriguez in Ecuador - this is the love story of that family. Directed by Olivia Crellin


Alaska is a Drag
BUY TICKETS HERE!
Fri, Feb 9, 2018 4:15 PM
Sat, Feb 10, 2018 5:45 PM

ALASKA IS A DRAG is a Fish out of water story – literally. Our hero Leo is an aspiring superstar (Martin L. Washington Jr.) stuck working in a fish cannery in Alaska. Leo sees disco balls in the scales of the fish he slices. Everyone who slices fish all day, daydreams – Leo’s are glamtastic. 
 
Most of the time, Leo and his twin sister Tristen (Maya Washington) are left to fend for themselves. To escape the monotony of fist fights and fish guts, they create their own magic – the Northern Lights follow them.
 
They hang out at the one gay bar in a hundred miles, owned by their surly surrogate mom – Jan (Margaret Cho). Their real mom (Nia Peeples) left years ago and their dad George (Kevin Daniels) preaches on the side of the road. 

After years of getting beat up by his former best friend, Kyle (Christopher O'Shea), Leo has learned to fight back – his skills catch the eye of his cannery boss, an amateur boxer (Jason Scott Lee) who offers to train him to be a fighter. And when the new kid in town, Declan (Matt Dallas), wants to be his sparring partner – Leo’s world turns upside down.
 
When Tristen enters Leo in a drag competition – he's never performed for anyone but her – his worlds collide – the drag audition falls on the same day as the qualifying round for boxing and Leo has to face the real reason, he's afraid to leave Alaska.

Fishy

Fishy is a short animated film about a man stranded in the middle of the ocean who is saved in more ways than one by a mystical sea creature. This animation brings attention to the complicated process a parent goes through while accepting that their child may not fit into the dreams their parents once held for them. Directed by Joseph Sulsenti.

Lady Eva

An intrepid young transgender woman in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga sets off to become her true self - with a little help from Tina Turner along the way. Directed by Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson & Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu.



LGBTQ Shorts 
BUY TICKETS HERE
Friday, February 9th 6:45PM

The Cleanse (OFF Alum)
Director: Lucas Omar

The Queer Clique loves fresh meat. Newbie Kayden must complete the sacred initiation: The Cleanse. No food. No sex. Just juice. Let the cravings begin. Regional Premiere

Dusk (OFF Alum)
Director: Jake Graf

Growing up in 1950s England in an intolerant and uninformed world, young Chris Winters struggles to fit into the gender roles dictated by wider society. Mississippi Premiere

Haygood Eats!

Director: Hazart

Tim & Joy Haygood are the reigning almost "celebrities" of their small southern town. In a series of leaked outtakes from Magic City Productions, the curtain is lifted on the disastrous attempt at a commercial from Joy & Tim Haygood's catering company. Mississippi Premiere.

How to Make a Pearl

Director: Jason Hanasik

For the last ten years, John Kapellas has lived in complete darkness. Allergic to the entire spectrum of light, Kapellas' doctors have tried a myriad of drugs to give him more time in the light. When one of the drugs' side effects made him “go nuts,” Kapellas found a creative way to calm his mind. Regional Premiere

Spark
Director: Aharonit Elior

A girl finds someone to spark her flame. World Premiere

Sununú: The Revolution of Love
Director: Olivia Crellin

Transgender dad, Fernando Machado, became an international news sensation when he announced he was pregnant with his trans girlfriend Diane Rodriguez in Ecuador. This is the love story of that family. Mississippi Premiere.

The Third Movement
Director: Josephine Anderson

World-renowned transgender classical pianist, Sara Davis Buechner lost a flourishing New York career after transitioning from male to female. The Third Movement is an intimate documentary portrait that explores Sara’s yearning to earn back her spot on the world stage. As Sara dreams about a comeback, she helps guide the next generation of piano greats on their rise to the top. The film is a creative and nuanced depiction of an artist who demonstrates unrelenting determination in the face of trans-targeted discrimination. United States Premiere

3 Friends

Director: Michael Moody Culpepper

Based on a Colm Tóibín short story, Fergus, a pensive, young Irishman, is propelled on a powerful journey. At his mother’s funeral and wake, Fergus confronts how his family shapes and defines him. He continues this journey at a beach rave, becoming aware of ways his friends define him. Ultimately, through death, grief, joy, and sex, Fergus defines himself. Regional Premiere

Waffles
Director: Foster Wilson

A young, gay millennial discovers she's slept with the enemy and has to choose between swallowing her pride and standing by her principles. Mississippi Premiere.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

27 Days of Oscar, Day 2: Reality Check and Dreamland (Interviewing Timothee, Ruben, Ildiko and Ziad!)


Before I get to the hard cold truth of what I can feasibly watch before the voting deadline for the Independent Spirit Awards I want to chat about the incredible experience I had yesterday interviewing not only Timothee Chalamet, but also three of the nominated foreign film directors.

First of all, I didn't think it would actually happen, not smoothly at least. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter I posted a snapshot of my calendar, and it was tight. Luckily Ruben Ostlund was running a bit behind, so there was no real mishap. Other than the fact that after checking multiple times that my ringer was on I missed Ziad Doueiri's first call because I had my phone on do not disturb.

Alas, it was fine in the end.

What poses a challenge with these interviews is the fact that they've been asked certain questions a gazillion times. So, it's up to me to make it more interesting or go a bit deeper. For example, am I really going to ask Timothee about the peach scene? Again? Probably not, but when I asked him about the final shot by the fire, I prefaced it with the fact that I knew he did 3 takes and that director Luca Guadagnino asked him to be more reserved in the beginning, "let them in" a bit more in the middle take and let loose in the third. (That's paraphrasing, btw) So I asked him for more. What was he actually thinking in that shot? I told him what I saw and we connected his process to my perception. It was an incredible conversation.

I asked him about LGBTQ cinema and what Queer films impacted him over the years. We talked about the audiences of the film...including what it was like to watch it here in Mississippi. I was able to ask him (something I don't recall anyone else asking) if he had considered Elio's sexuality and whether or not it mattered.

One of the biggest takeaways included how he utilized the Andre Aciman's book on set, not going to spoil that here!

I also, thanks to my friend Amy's suggestion, asked him about a scene near the end where a drunk Elio and Oliver stumble upon a trio of 80s beatniks listening to the very song they had danced to earlier in the film and what Elio was thinking as he had to watch the man he loved, yet again dance with a woman instead of him.

It was a great conversation, and I can't wait to put it down for you to read over at Awards Daily.

The conversations with the directors of the foreign films did not disappoint as well.  Ziad Doueiri talked quite openly about the residual resentment and conflict from the civil war between the Lebanese Christians and the Palestinians and how something similar is happening today in the US and Brittain. He gave me his cell phone number and told me to call anytime if I had any more questions. Always a good sign.

Ruben Ostlund, who seeming a bit exhausted, and I discussed how "The Square" came about from an art installation he co-created. Nothing he hasn't discussed before. We did talk much about the pacing of the film and the editing process, which was fascinating.

And finally I had a very moving conversation with "On Body and Soul" director Ildiko Enyedi, the only woman nominated in this category, about the reasons it took 18 years between this and her last feature film, the medium of television and the humor that was necessary to balance out the pain we are viewing on screen. FYI: "On Body and Soul" is now available on Netflix.

That piece will be published soon after the Queer Cinema piece. Much, much to do!

NOW...let's get real. I considered watching "Ingrid Goes West" last night (nominated for a couple of Spirit Awards) but realized that I had yet to finish "The Killing of a Sacred Deer." I did that and was exhausted afterwards. With the Oxford Film Festival beginning tonight I don't think I'll be able to watch an Oscary movie until Sunday morning. MAYBE Saturday.

So, considering the fact that I need to write and go to my job (the one where I actually get paid!) I think I will be able to watch 4, 5 movies max before the Spirit Awards voting deadline. SO...that means this. I won't be able to vote in a several categories (Best First Feature, for instance) because I want to vote on Screenplay, Female Lead, Supporting Female and Supporting Male. Therefore my honest Spirit Playlist is this:

The Lovers
Beatriz at Dinner
Life and Nothing More
Marjorie Prime
Crown Heights
Oh Lucy

That's 6! Oh, Oscars Phase 2! You are a nasty, nasty lover.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

27 Days of Oscar, day 1: Nominees luncheon class photo (video!) and Oscar/Spirits watching playlist


Here we are. Day 1 of the "27 Days of Oscar" series.

Right now it seems as if there is plenty of time. 27 days no less. But this is absolutely not my first Oscar rodeo. There are still barriers ahead. I can't get my "The Breadwinner" link to work, I still haven't reached out about viewing the shorts. And with the Spirit Awards I haven't managed to get a copy of Best Director nominee "A Ciambra." The Spirits suggest not voting for a category of which you haven't seen all of the nominees. So, that means I couldn't vote for Luca Guadagnino. Hmmm...we'll see how that turns out.

Yesterday was the Oscars nominee luncheon, which is pretty awesome. All of my peers have already covered the event, some of them attending the very private gathering, but I did find a really cool video of Laura Dern calling roll at imdb.com.  If you haven't seen the full photo, check it out here and watch the video below that!


As I've mentioned, today I have my interview extravaganza. I added a 4th to the roster, "On Body and Soul" director Ildikó Enyedi. That will happen right after my interviews with The Insult" director Ziad Doueiri, then "The Square" director Ruben Ostlund and finally "Call Me By Your Name" actor Timothee Chalamet. It's an exciting day to say the least.

Below I've laid out the films I still need to see over the next 27 days. For the Spirits I have 11 days, which certainly makes things challenging, especially considering the Oxford Film Festival starts tomorrow night.

SPIRITS

This is what I was afraid of. 17 films. That is certainly not going to happen, so what that means is I will have to break things down by category and see what I can realistically watch before the voting deadline on Friday February 16h.

Ingrid Goes West
Oh Lucy!
Patti Cake$
A Ciambra
The Lovers
Beatriz at Dinner (redbox)
Donald Cried
Women Who Kill
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (still need to finish!)
Life and nothing more
Marjorie Prime
Crown Heights
The Departure (?)
Faces Places (?)
Last Men in Aleppo
Motherland
Quest

ACADEMY AWARDS

This is manageable. 15 films and 15 shorts. Especially considering once the Spirit Awards deadline happens I will still have 2 full weeks. Thank you Olympics!!

Beauty and the Beast
Wonder
Kong: Skull Island
Loving Vincent
The Boss Baby
Ferdinand
The Breadwinner
Marshall
Logan
Roman Israel, Esq
Abacus
Icarus
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island
Faces Places
SHORTS




Monday, February 5, 2018

SOLO: A Star Wars Story, official teaser


Another new teaser, y'all. Check it out:

Previewing the LGBTQ films at Oxford Film Festival, post DGA BP standings, etc. etc. etc.


Happy Monday Oscarwatchers. One thing you won't be getting here today is any sort of discussion about the Super Bowl or the surprise release of a new "Cloverfield" movie followed by excitement and subsequent Film Twitter evisceration.

Instead, it's time to bring you a bit up to speed on what I've been doing over the weekend and what lies ahead in the next few days.

Tomorrow begins the Awards Wiz "27 Days of Oscar" series, where we count down the days leading up to the big day, March 4th, look at all the nominated categories, as well as predict what the heck might actually happen on Oscar night.

It's going to be a bit different than usual. For one thing I don't have quite as many Oscar nominated films to watch this year. I do, however, have several films I hope to view nominated for Independent Spirit Awards. This week is going to be full of challenges.

Tonight I plan to revisit "The Square" and prepare for the three back to back interviews I have tomorrow. First is "The Insult" director Ziad Doueiri, then "The Square" director Ruben Ostlund and finally "Call Me By Your Name" actor Timothee Chalamet.  I had hoped to schedule more interviews, but honestly, I'm not sure I would even have time if they were actually presented to me.

In addition to these interviews and writing for "27 Days of Oscar" and prepping for my three Awards Daily pieces, the Oxford Film Festival begins on Wednesday.

Wednesday is Community Night...I have a teeny tiny part in "Fifteen," directed by Melanie Addington and will also be acting in the readings of 2 screenplay competition winners.

I also had the immense pleasure of programming the LGBTQ section of the fest, which includes "Between the Shades," directed by Jill Salvino, "Boys For Sale," directed by Itako and "Alaska is a Drag" written and directed by Shaz Bennett. There is also a great selection of shorts. Descriptions and trailers are below.

If you are in the Oxford area, please take advantage of the discount code, "OutOxford" for discounted tickets. $6! Let's fill the theater and show Oxford and Mississippi that we're here, we're queer, we're...you know what I'm saying....

In the world of Oscar, the DGA happened, and 2 days late to the discussion game there isn't much to say. Other than this. "The Shape of Water" was the original frontrunner, at least according to me and this site. "The Shape of Water" had no SAG ensemble nomination. It won the Critics Choice and the PGA and Guillermo del Toro won Best Director at the DGA. The exact same thing happened last year with "La La Land." The only difference is that it did not win the Golden Globe. It lost to "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."

So, what does this mean? I could very well predict a potential sweep for "The Shape of Water," just as I did last year with "La La Land." Will the new members make a difference in destroying the SAG stat? Possibly.

Neither "The Revenant," "Gravity" or "La La Land" had a SAG ensemble nomination and none won best picture. Without a SAG ensemble nod, BP doesn't happen.

Out here in MS, "The Shape of Water" is divisive. It just is. I actually haven't talked to anyone who was completely over the moon about it. That is the opposite of what I'm hearing about "Lady Bird." Everyone likes "Lady Bird." It just missed my Top 20, so I'm clearly in the minority.

Is it the same way in Los Angeles? "Lady Bird" hasn't really won much at all other than the Golden Globe, same with "Get Out" which has won even less. So what does this all mean? It means we keep watching.

I've watched a few movies over the past few days as well. "Miss Stevens" starring Lily Rabe, Timothee Chalamet, Lili Reinhart and Anthony Quintal, written by Jordan Horowitz ("La La Land" producer) and Julia Hart, who also directed the film. It is an incredible delight and Timothee is as good if not better in this than he is in "Call Me By Your Name."  It's on Netflix, so check it out as well.


I also continued through the Best First Feature category for the Spirit Awards. I wanted "Menache" and started "The Killing of a Sacred Deer." I will finish it. Life got in the way. Tomorrow we'll look at my current movie watching playlist for the next 27 days and keep on moving!!

Check out the info on the LGBTQ films at Oxford Film Festival here:

Between the Shades

BUY TICKETS HERE!
Sat, Feb 10, 2018 8:00 PM
Sun, Feb 11, 2018 5:00 PM

Between the Shades seeks to put faces to the letters that make up LGBTQI and how those letters have evolved. The film examines the immense power of labels and the transcendence of love. Director Jill Salvino invited fifty people, each with a connection to the LGBTQI community to begin a conversation by sharing their stories for this film that Premiered at The Soho Film Festival and became an audience favorite and finalist for best documentary. Between the Shades features many voices, among them: Beth Malone (of Broadway’s Fun Home), actress Kathy Najimy and Democratic National Committee Treasurer Andrew Tobias. No film can ever capture the immense diversity of the LGBTQI community, but it didn’t stop us from trying. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to be loved.

Between the Shades - Final Trailer for 2017 SoHo FF from Jill Salvino on Vimeo.

Boys for Sale
BUY TICKETS HERE!
Fri, Feb 9, 2018 1:00 PM
Sat, Feb 10, 2018 12:45 PM

Boys are selling sex in Japan. Who is buying?
In the Tokyo district of Shinjuku 2-chome there are bars that specialize in “Urisen”, young guys who have sex with men. Featuring candid interviews and interspersed with animation detailing the awkward, sweet, and sometimes horrific situations these young sex workers experience, the boys for sale boldly tell their stories of life in the Tokyo underground. This documentary is an illuminating look into a rarely seen world that tantalizingly shows the humanity of sex work.

Sununu: The Revolution of Live (playing with Boys for Sale)

Transgender Dad, Fernando Machado, became an international news sensation when he announced he was pregnant with his trans girlfriend Diane Rodriguez in Ecuador - this is the love story of that family. Directed by Olivia Crellin


Alaska is a Drag
BUY TICKETS HERE!
Fri, Feb 9, 2018 4:15 PM
Sat, Feb 10, 2018 5:45 PM

ALASKA IS A DRAG is a Fish out of water story – literally. Our hero Leo is an aspiring superstar (Martin L. Washington Jr.) stuck working in a fish cannery in Alaska. Leo sees disco balls in the scales of the fish he slices. Everyone who slices fish all day, daydreams – Leo’s are glamtastic. 
 
Most of the time, Leo and his twin sister Tristen (Maya Washington) are left to fend for themselves. To escape the monotony of fist fights and fish guts, they create their own magic – the Northern Lights follow them.
 
They hang out at the one gay bar in a hundred miles, owned by their surly surrogate mom – Jan (Margaret Cho). Their real mom (Nia Peeples) left years ago and their dad George (Kevin Daniels) preaches on the side of the road. 

After years of getting beat up by his former best friend, Kyle (Christopher O'Shea), Leo has learned to fight back – his skills catch the eye of his cannery boss, an amateur boxer (Jason Scott Lee) who offers to train him to be a fighter. And when the new kid in town, Declan (Matt Dallas), wants to be his sparring partner – Leo’s world turns upside down.
 
When Tristen enters Leo in a drag competition – he's never performed for anyone but her – his worlds collide – the drag audition falls on the same day as the qualifying round for boxing and Leo has to face the real reason, he's afraid to leave Alaska.

Fishy

Fishy is a short animated film about a man stranded in the middle of the ocean who is saved in more ways than one by a mystical sea creature. This animation brings attention to the complicated process a parent goes through while accepting that their child may not fit into the dreams their parents once held for them. Directed by Joseph Sulsenti.

Lady Eva

An intrepid young transgender woman in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga sets off to become her true self - with a little help from Tina Turner along the way. Directed by Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson & Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu.



LGBTQ Shorts 
BUY TICKETS HERE
Friday, February 9th 6:45PM

The Cleanse (OFF Alum)
Director: Lucas Omar

The Queer Clique loves fresh meat. Newbie Kayden must complete the sacred initiation: The Cleanse. No food. No sex. Just juice. Let the cravings begin. Regional Premiere

Dusk (OFF Alum)
Director: Jake Graf

Growing up in 1950s England in an intolerant and uninformed world, young Chris Winters struggles to fit into the gender roles dictated by wider society. Mississippi Premiere

Haygood Eats!

Director: Hazart

Tim & Joy Haygood are the reigning almost "celebrities" of their small southern town. In a series of leaked outtakes from Magic City Productions, the curtain is lifted on the disastrous attempt at a commercial from Joy & Tim Haygood's catering company. Mississippi Premiere.

How to Make a Pearl

Director: Jason Hanasik

For the last ten years, John Kapellas has lived in complete darkness. Allergic to the entire spectrum of light, Kapellas' doctors have tried a myriad of drugs to give him more time in the light. When one of the drugs' side effects made him “go nuts,” Kapellas found a creative way to calm his mind. Regional Premiere

Spark
Director: Aharonit Elior

A girl finds someone to spark her flame. World Premiere

Sununú: The Revolution of Love
Director: Olivia Crellin

Transgender dad, Fernando Machado, became an international news sensation when he announced he was pregnant with his trans girlfriend Diane Rodriguez in Ecuador. This is the love story of that family. Mississippi Premiere.

The Third Movement
Director: Josephine Anderson

World-renowned transgender classical pianist, Sara Davis Buechner lost a flourishing New York career after transitioning from male to female. The Third Movement is an intimate documentary portrait that explores Sara’s yearning to earn back her spot on the world stage. As Sara dreams about a comeback, she helps guide the next generation of piano greats on their rise to the top. The film is a creative and nuanced depiction of an artist who demonstrates unrelenting determination in the face of trans-targeted discrimination. United States Premiere

3 Friends

Director: Michael Moody Culpepper

Based on a Colm Tóibín short story, Fergus, a pensive, young Irishman, is propelled on a powerful journey. At his mother’s funeral and wake, Fergus confronts how his family shapes and defines him. He continues this journey at a beach rave, becoming aware of ways his friends define him. Ultimately, through death, grief, joy, and sex, Fergus defines himself. Regional Premiere

Waffles
Director: Foster Wilson

A young, gay millennial discovers she's slept with the enemy and has to choose between swallowing her pride and standing by her principles. Mississippi Premiere.


Friday, February 2, 2018

Quick thoughts on Loveless, Call Me By Your Name producer Peter Spears, and predicting the DGA Awards


Last night I continued the process of watching the Oscar nominated foreign language films by watching "Loveless," Russia's entry directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev and starring Maryana Spivak, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, and Aleksey Rozin.

The IMDB summary is this: "A couple going through a divorce must team up to find their son who has disappeared during one of their bitter arguments." I might even alter it to say, "The most unlikeable, miserable couple in film history...."

Although it took a bit to adjust to these characters and the laborious unfolding of action, eventually I was on board and riveted. As I say every year, I am so glad that I cover this category extensively for Awards Daily because I am always surprised by what I see.  I also have to say, with one film left to see "On Body and Soul," I understand why other movies didn't make the top 5.

More on this in the coming weeks as I interview more directors and put together my FF piece.

Later today I will be interviewing Peter Spears, one of the producers of "Call Me By Your Name." I am really thrilled that I'll have the opportunity to speak to this openly gay actor, writer, producer. One of the main focuses of this Queer Cinema piece that I'm working on for Awards Daily is the affect LGBTQ films had on me over the years, hopefully opening up readers to think and discuss the subject as well. I am very much looking forward to asking Peter which films influenced him and why he chose this particular material to produce.

I also look forward to asking him to help me explain to my straight friends why I have felt the need to watch the film multiple, multiple times, both at home and on the big screen, as well as ready the book on which the film is based...twice.

**Let's take a look at the DGA which will announce tomorrow (I earlier thought it was today). I believe the dinner starts at 6:00PM CST.

There are always shifts in this thing called the Oscar race, and tonight we could have an earthquake.

Some of these happen early, for example, Timothee Chalamet literally won everything in the early phase of things...and continues to win, here and there...but the one two punch of the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice awards sealed that deal for Gary Oldman.

A few years ago, something similar happened as "The Social Network" was overtaken by "The King's Speech." Last year, the shift was incredibly last minute. After surviving the PGA preferential ballot, "La La Land" lost the big prize to "Moonlight."

And then there are years where it was always a certain film, we just couldn't see it. Or some of us couldn't see it, that is. For example the year "Spotlight" won Best Picture and many of us thought it was going to be "The Revenant." Mostly because we got swayed by noise and fatigue. A few weeks ago I predicted this exact thing right before "The Shape of Water" won the PGA. I could very well be wrong. Sasha Stone at Awards Daily is quite adamant that "Lady Bird" will win. That being said Sasha has been sure before and correctly changed her mind at the last minute. So, we shall see. She has a better track record on Best Picture than I do, that's for sure.

So...what could happen tonight? I think it really can only be one of two things. Guillermo del Toro wins for "The Shape of Water" or Greta Gerwig wins for "Lady Bird." Sure...I would love for the DGA to award Jordan Peele or Christopher Nolan, but I can't see that happening. Perhaps they will give Peele the first time director prize. That would make the most sense.

But even as I think about what I think SHOULD win I find myself wanting to award del Toro over Peele and Nolan even though "Get Out" and "Dunkirk" were my 2nd and 4th favorite films of the year. And as much as I would love for a woman to win, I can't award Gerwig when the film didn't make my Top 20.

So...I guess this is what I think:
Feature Film Director:
Should win: Jordan Peele
Will win: Guillermo del Toro (although that little voice is telling me it will be Gerwig!)

First-Time Feature Film Director:
Should win, Will win: Jordan Peele

If you want to check out the full list of noms, it's below.

FILM

FEATURE FILM

Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

del Toro’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: J. Miles Dale
Production Manager: Dennis Chapman
First Assistant Director: Pierre Henry
Second Assistant Director: Tyler Delben

Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
(A24)

Gerwig’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Lila Yacoub, Danielle Blumstein, Jamin O’Brien (New York Crew)
First Assistant Directors: Jonas Spaccarotelli, Cedric Vara (New York Crew)
Second Assistant Director: Brendan Lee, Dana Zolli (New York Crew)
Second Second Assistant Directors: Lillian Awa, Teri Barber

Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

McDonagh’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Bergen Swanson
Assistant Unit Production Manager: Peggy Robinson
First Assistant Director: Peter Kohn
Second Assistant Director: Paula Case
Second Second Assistant Director: Spencer Taylor

Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
(Warner Bros.)

Nolan’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: David Witz, Christine Raspillere (France Unit), Chris Brock (UK Unit), Nicky Tüske (Netherlands Unit)
First Assistant Directors: Nilo Otero, William Pruss (France Unit), Willem Quarles van Ufford (Netherlands Unit)
Second Assistant Director: Eric Lasko, Nicolas Baldino (France Unit), Alexis Chelli (France Unit), Clément Comet (France Unit)
Second Second Assistant Director: Alina Gatti

Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
(Universal Pictures)

Peele’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Marcei A. Brown, Rick A. Osako (Fairhope Unit)
First Assistant Director: Gerard DiNardi
Second Assistant Directors: Ram Paul Silbey, Marc Newland (Fairhope Unit), Jack McKenna (New York Unit)
Second Second Assistant Director: Maggie Ballard
Location Manager: Kurt Enger (New York Unit)

FIRST-TIME FEATURE FILM DIRECTOR:

Geremy Jasper, “Patti Cake$”
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Jasper’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Sara Blechman
First Assistant Director: Inna Braude
Second Assistant Director: Natasha Rivera
Second Second Assistant Director: Lucas Isabella
Additional Second Second Assistant Director: Alice Johnson

William Oldroyd, “Lady Macbeth”
(Roadside Attractions)

Oldroyd’s Directorial Team:
Production Manager: Robert K. Harm
Unit Manager: Eugene Galbrath
First Assistant Director: George Every
Second Assistant Director: Richard Stanley Jan Harris

Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
(Universal Pictures)

Peele’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Marcei A. Brown, Rick A. Osako (Fairhope Unit)
First Assistant Director: Gerard DiNardi
Second Assistant Directors: Ram Paul Silbey, Marc Newland (Fairhope Unit), Jack McKenna (New York Unit)
Second Second Assistant Director: Maggie Ballard
Location Manager: Kurt Enger (New York Unit)Taylor Sheridan, “Wind River”

(Acacia Entertainment)

Sheridan’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Christopher H. Warner
First Assistant Director: Nicholas Harvard
Second Assistant Director: Jason Altieri
Second Second Assistant Director: Kristina Massie

Aaron Sorkin, “Molly’s Game”
(STX Entertainment)

Sorkin’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Lyn Lucibello-Brancatella, Stuart M. Besser, Michael Beugg (Los Angeles Unit)
Assistant Unit Production Manager: Bart Lipton (Los Angeles Unit)
First Assistant Director: Walter Gasparovic
Second Assistant Directors: Penny Charter, Travis Rehwaldt (New York Unit), Paula Case (Los Angeles Unit)
Second Second Assistant Directors: Conor Griff (New York Unit), Drew Ritson (New York Unit), Bryan Snodgrass (Los Angeles Unit)
Location Manager: Dena Ghieth (New York Unit)



Wednesday, January 31, 2018

DORIAN AWARD winners: Call Me By Your Name, Greta Gerwig, and Timothee Chalamet (twice!)


Before getting down to the winners, I will say this: it is such an honor to be a part of this group. A particular honor considering "Call Me By Your Name" won Film of the Year and Timothee Chalamet won for Best Performance of the Year - Male.

Our group did quite the job of spreading the wealth. "Lady Bird" won for Gerwig as director and Metcalf. "BPM" won for Foreign Film, "The Shape of Water" for Actress and Visually Striking Film of the Year. "God's Own Country" won Unsung Film. Even "mother!" won for Campy Film of the Year.

I have to say I was a bit shocked to see Gerwig win for Best Director, and I wonder if it was because of a split vote. And as much as I loved "BPM" I am a bit surprised it won over "A Fantastic Woman" for Foreign Film. But all in all, it's a great list. Check it out below!


GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics
 (as in Lesbian! Gay! Bisexual! Transgender! Queer!)
Name Dorian Award Film/TV Winners

• • • • •

'Call Me By Your Name' is Best Film, Greta Gerwig Takes Best Director
'Get Out' Auteur Jordan Peele Scores Best Screenplay and More
Sally Hawkins Wins Best Actress, Timothée Chalamet is Both Best Actor and Rising Star
'American Gods,' Kyle MacLachlan, Samantha Bee, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race' Rule TV Categories
Meryl Streep is Group’s Latest 'Timeless Star’ Honoree



Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - Hollywood, CA — The distinctly unique GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, comprised of over 200 gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally entertainment journalists in the U.S., Canada and U.K., has announced its ninth annual Dorian Award winners. This year’s 26 TV and film categories, again running from mainstream to LGBTQ-centric, include inaugural awards for Supporting Film Performance. A handful of select recipients will join the group for GALECA’s annual Winners Toast on Saturday February 24th in Beverly Hills.

Broflakes won’t be happy about this: Call Me By Your Name, which led with nine nominations, was named 2017’s Film of the Year. The bittersweet story of two American men — a teen and a 20something — falling for each other in Italy also earned Timothée Chalamet a Dorian for Film Performance of the Year — Actor. Chalamet, seen in Dorian nominee Lady Bird as well, was also the group’s Rising Star pick. Meanwhile, Greta Gerwig, writer and helmer of the female-focused coming-of-age drama Lady Bird, was named Director of the Year.

Jordan Peele, formerly of TV’s acclaimed Key and Peele sketch comedy series, earned Screenplay of the Year for Get Out, the heart-stopping thriller and acidic satire about a black man (Daniel Kaluuya) who discovers his white girlfriend’s “liberal” parents are secretly murderous racists. Peele was also crowned Wilde Artist of the Year (nominees included Gerwig, Patty Jenkins, David Lynch and Guillermo del Toro) and Wilde Wit of the Year. Peele shares the latter award with Saturday Night Live fixture Kate McKinnon, nabbing her second win in that race — along with a victory for her sing-songy imagining of Trump explainer Kellyanne Conway taking her "alternative facts" act to Broadway.

Film icon and feminist activist Meryl Streep was the group’s latest choice for Timeless Star, a career achievement honor previously won by such equally beloved stars (and human-rights champions) Jane Fonda, Dame Angela Lansbury and Sir Ian McKellen.

“Who doesn’t love Meryl Streep outside of non-feminist Donald Trump?” quipped Diane Anderson-Minshall, GALECA’s president as well as editorial director of The Advocate magazine. “Streep’s latest film, The Post, speaks to her commitment to playing, and supporting, strong women who push for or at least embody the need for equality. As The Washington Post’s firebrand Katherine Graham, she inhabited the role of the first female publisher of a major American newspaper — a woman who went from housewife to overseeing the revelations of both Watergate and the Pentagon Papers at a time when most of the men around her were too afraid to take on either. And this was all long before the #MeToo movement.” Adds John Griffiths, GALECA’s Executive Director, "From Sophie’s Choice toPostcards from the Edge, Streep’s an incredibly stirring and affecting actress who transports, delights and nails various accents like no other. I’d say she definitely qualifies as a timeless star — and amid all the headlines about sexual harassment in Hollywood, she’s also a very relevant current voice.”

Fun fact: Streep won a Dorian Award for The Iron Lady back in 2012.

In additional trademark races, God’s Own Country — 2017’s other visceral love story involving two gay men — won as GALECA's Unsung Film of the Year (the competition included director Angela Robinson’s Professor Marston and the Wonder Women). Awards-season darling The Shape of Water impressed as Visually Striking Film of the Year. And mother!, Darren Aronofsky’s over-the-top psychological chiller starring Jennifer Lawrence, was deemed Campy Flick of the Year.

Among TV categories, HBO’s sleek murder mystery Big Little Lies took TV Drama of the Year, with star Nicole Kidman (as a battered wife) triumphing too. Kyle MacLachlan was Kidman’s male counterpart for Twin Peaks: The Return. Starz’s provocative gods-among-us fantasy American Gods took Unsung TV Show, fittingly as its future the freshman series’ future is reportedly up in the air. And programs each celebrating their second win in a row: TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (Current Events Show of the Year) and the Lady Gaga-loved gay performance contest RuPaul’s Drag Race (LGBTQ Show).

Below is the complete list of Dorian winners.

GALECA, The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, previously known as the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, includes members who review, write and/or report on film and television for a diverse number of media outlets, including BuzzFeed, The Daily Beast, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, The Advocate, CNN, the Associated Press, People, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Collider, Vanity Fair, Screen Crush, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, New Now Next, The Guardian and the BBC. For more information, visit GALECA.org. Also find us at #DorianAwards, and enjoy our posts via @DorianAwards on FacebookTwitterInstagram


GALECA 2017/18 DORIAN AWARDS — WINNERS

FILM OF THE YEAR
Call Me By Your Name - Sony Pictures Classics

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR (FILM OR TELEVISION)

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird - A24

BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR -- ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water – Fox Searchlight

BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR – ACTOR
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name - Sony Pictures Classics

SUPPORTING FILM PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR -- ACTRESS
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird - A24

SUPPORTING FILM PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR -- ACTOR
Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me By Your Name - Sony Pictures Classics

LGBTQ FILM OF THE YEAR
Call Me By Your Name - Sony Pictures Classics

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
BPM (Beats Per Minute) — The Orchard

SCREENPLAY OF THE YEAR (ORIGINAL OR ADAPTED)
Jordan Peele, Get Out - Universal
DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR
(theatrical release, TV airing or DVD release)
Faces Places – Cohen Media Group

VISUALLY STRIKING FILM OF THE YEAR
(honoring a production of stunning beauty, from art direction to cinematography)
The Shape of Water – Fox Searchlight

UNSUNG FILM OF THE YEAR
God's Own Country – Samuel Goldwyn Films

CAMPY FLICK OF THE YEAR
mother! - Paramount

TV DRAMA OF THE YEAR
Big Little Lies - HBO - HBO

TV COMEDY OF THE YEAR
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Amazon

TV PEFORMANCE OF THE YEAR – ACTRESS
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies - HBO

TV PEFORMANCE OF THE YEAR -- ACTOR
Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks: The Return - Showtime

TV CURRENT AFFAIRS SHOW OF THE YEAR
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee – TBS

TV MUSICAL PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Kate McKinnon, “(Kellyanne) Conway!” Saturday Night Live - NBC

LGBTQ SHOW OF THE YEAR
RuPaul's Drag Race – VH1

UNSUNG TV SHOW OF THE YEAR
American Gods - Starz

CAMPY TV SHOW OF THE YEAR
Feud: Betty and Joan 

‘WE’RE WILDE ABOUT YOU!’ RISING STAR AWARD
Timothée Chalamet

WILDE WIT OF THE YEAR AWARD
(honoring a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse)
Kate McKinnon (TIE)
Jordan Peele (TIE)

WILDE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
(honoring a truly groundbreaking force in the fields of film, theater and/or television)
Guillermo del Toro
Jordan Peele

TIMELESS STAR
(to a living actor or performer whose exemplary career is marked by character, wisdom and wit)
Meryl Streep 

27 Days of Oscar, Day 12: Foreign Film, Queer Cinema and my Oscar playlist

It's time for a big deep breath before the final push. The Oscars are in 2 weeks and 1 day. It's hard to believe. We're goin...